July 24, 2024

Industry Welcomes ATV Safety Recommendations

NSW Coroner recommends new safety measures for ATVs.

They are a lot of fun and a handy farm tool, however serious safety concerns have long been associated with ATVs.

Now the NSW Coroner has recommended a range of safety measures relating to their use, including the mandatory wearing of helmets, guidelines around rider training and even a safety rating for ATVs.

The Coroner handed down the recommendations after investigating nine ATV fatalities, Deputy NSW coroner, Sharon Freund, saying the ATV safety star rating system would rate factors such as stability and vehicle handling.

A safety star rating for ATVs isn’t feasible according to the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries.

The Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI) has welcomed the coroner’s recommendations, however Chief Executive, Tony Weber, says the star rating system isn’t feasible.

“The star rating proposal is based on research that has been questioned by other experts and does not relate testing outcomes to any real world data, so it cannot accurately inform ATV and side-by-side vehicle consumers about the relative safety of one vehicle versus another,”

“The FCAI is disappointed with the promotion of this form of star rating. We believe that it is essential any star rating system for any vehicle, including ATVs and SSVs, accurately validates each particular vehicle’s safety benefits compared with other like vehicles.”

Mr Weber did however endorse the Coroners other recommendations relating to increasing ATV safety.

“These practices include wearing a helmet and other appropriate safety gear, not carrying more than the manufacturer’s approved number of passengers, not overloading the ATV, not allowing children to ride adult-sized ATVs and not riding under the influence of drugs and alcohol.

“In addition, continued and real-world research and development by the manufacturers is helping to produce new ATVs with improved safety performance for farmers and other users.”

“Riders should undertake training, read the owner’s manual and watch the safety video provided with the ATV, before riding. In Australia, training is widely available and ATV manufacturers selling vehicles in Australia can advise on ATV training available in their local areas.

“Training is provided at a very reasonable price—around $100–$300. The FCAI is continuing to look for ways to increase awareness of training.”

Steve McDowall